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Thread: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

  1. #76
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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    What might happen if the Reds had became "enlightened" and told Adam Dunn to put the ball into play at all costs and quit striking out so much?

    This is an important question because clearly these things shouldn't be talked about in a vacuum.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    I read it on the Internet so it must be true.

    All kidding aside, the sabre circle may have decided that Ks are worth -0.31 runs and other outs are worth -0.30 runs, but there are some people who don't necessarily believe that every formula that circle created is gold.

    And even if those numbers could be proven factual and true to a non-partisan crowd, it still doesn't change the theory that when comparing a K to a ball in play, one of those choices has no chance of being productive.

    Maybe this is actually two separate debates, because it seems pretty black and white to me.
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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    A fielder's choice is no different than a strikeout or flyball, so nothing is harmed if they ground into a double play.

    But like I said: they gained at least 166 bases on productive outs and reached base on an error 63 times compared to just 100 double plays. Add in hits and all the bases taken on hits, and it's inarguable that it's not better to put the ball in play. That's absolute common sense and to argue otherwise is lacking it.

    The real problem here is when stubborn individuals don't understand what it is the research is telling them. This isn't about the value of a strikeout versus generic outs. This is about strikeouts versus putting the ball in play. When you put the ball in play and account for everything that could happen, there is absolutely no argument. It's far, far, far better to put it in play.
    You are telling me that a fielders choice play is the same as a strikeout or flyball? You sure about that? How about a situation with a runner on 3rd base and nobody out. The batter hits the ball to the third baseman who then throws home to erase the lead runner, leaving the offense with only a runner on first base and one out. If the batter had struck out there would be a man on third base with one out. That is a huge difference.

    I am glad I don't share your version of common sense.

    You have to factor in all the outcomes that occur in real games and account for the same frequency they occur in real games. You can't just cherry pick the scenarios that fit your preconceived (and disproven) narrative.

    You have already acknowledged that high strikeout hitters produce at a much better level than low strikeout hitters, so why try to deny one of the foundations of sabremetrics?

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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling View Post
    You are telling me that a fielders choice play is the same as a strikeout or flyball? You sure about that? How about a situation with a runner on 3rd base and nobody out. The batter hits the ball to the third baseman who then throws home to erase the lead runner, leaving the offense with only a runner on first base and one out. If the batter had struck out there would be a man on third base with one out. That is a huge difference.

    I am glad I don't share your version of common sense.

    You have to factor in all the outcomes that occur in real games and account for the same frequency they occur in real games. You can't just cherry pick the scenarios that fit your preconceived (and disproven) narrative.

    You have already acknowledged that high strikeout hitters produce at a much better level than low strikeout hitters, so why try to deny one of the foundations of sabremetrics?
    Since when is a runner being thrown out at home on a tag play considered a force out?

    Nonetheless, explain to me this: how do you propose a team scores if they don't put the ball in play or otherwise make contact?

    I'll hang up and listen.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    Quote Originally Posted by Cant Touch This View Post
    I read it on the Internet so it must be true.

    All kidding aside, the sabre circle may have decided that Ks are worth -0.31 runs and other outs are worth -0.30 runs, but there are some people who don't necessarily believe that every formula that circle created is gold.

    And even if those numbers could be proven factual and true to a non-partisan crowd, it still doesn't change the theory that when comparing a K to a ball in play, one of those choices has no chance of being productive.

    Maybe this is actually two separate debates, because it seems pretty black and white to me.
    Putting the ball in play has a chance to be counterproductive, even extremely counterproductive. Do you acknowledge that?

    The productive and counter-productive results have been definitively proven to cancel each other out, whether you believe it or not.

    If making contact is so clearly better, then how do you account for the fact that high strikeout hitters have significantly outperformed low strikeout hitters? The on-field results of real MLB games clearly show that your belief is misguided.

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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    Since when is a runner being thrown out at home on a tag play considered a force out?

    Nonetheless, explain to me this: how do you propose a team scores if they don't put the ball in play or otherwise make contact?

    I'll hang up and listen.
    Has anyone ever stated that hitters should never make contact? Strawman much? Jeez.

    Who said anything about a force out? We were discussing fielder's choices, not force outs.

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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling View Post
    Come on man, you know that is not how it works. This stuff has all been calculated and published a million times.

    You can't just add up the gain or loss in base runners or total bases, you have to factor in the huge value of the lost outs as well. A double play doesn't just eliminate an extra base runner -- it also wastes an extra out.

    What matters is not how often something happens, but rather its effect on the outcome of the game, measured in run values or expected runs. The double plays are less frequent than strikeouts but far more harmful to the team's run expectancy. The damage from these plays hurts the team a lot more than a "productive out" helps the team. You can't trade off one productive out for one double play. That is like saying that making a donation to your local homeless shelter will cancel out the bad karma from that murder you committed. One is much worse than the other was good.

    Not all double plays count as GIDPs either, in fact GIDPs are the least harmful double plays. You can line into a double play, possibly erasing a runner on 2nd or 3rd (which is worth far more than runner on 1st). You can also hit a fly ball that is caught by a fielder, then a runner tags up from 3rd and gets thrown out trying to score, which is far more harmful than multiple strikeouts. You also need to consider the fielder's choice plays where the lead runner was erased from 2nd or 3rd instead of retiring the batter, again these are far more harmful than a strikeout.

    When you add up all these possible scenarios, multiply them by their gains or losses in run expectancy, then multiply it by their frequency in real MLB games you get a chart that looks like this one: http://www.tangotiger.net/RE9902event.html or this one: http://insidethebook.com/ee/index.ph...lues_of_events

    It shows that strikeouts are worth -0.31 runs while contact outs in aggregate are worth -0.30 runs, which is an extremely insignificant and negligible difference.

    The "strikeouts are just another out" debate is old hat. This whole issue was settled long ago. Strikeouts are no more harmful than contact outs on average over a large sample size. Its a proven fact.
    .
    .
    Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but isn't a game a small sample size? And don't they counts wins in each game towards total record and that's what they count towards the playoffs every year? So in each small sample size a strikeout in a bad situation seems like it can loom large in the outcome. If they counted total production and runs of the whole season to determine team success, then strikeouts seem like they could be mitigated over the whole but each small sample size, a game, is what goes into total record and team success. Sure I know there are theories that say that the teams that score the most generally have the best record, but it seems each game is a small sample size so strikeouts can matter in each game then, the total record can be effected by strikeouts because total record is a compilation of small sample sizes not a picture of the total sample size. Maybe I'm misunderstanding but idk it seems that strikeouts do matter in the course of each game and those count towards record, not a macro overall production total.
    Last edited by Old school 1983; 09-14-2013 at 09:05 PM.

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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling View Post
    You are telling me that a fielders choice play is the same as a strikeout or flyball? You sure about that? How about a situation with a runner on 3rd base and nobody out. The batter hits the ball to the third baseman who then throws home to erase the lead runner, leaving the offense with only a runner on first base and one out. If the batter had struck out there would be a man on third base with one out. That is a huge difference.

    I am glad I don't share your version of common sense.

    You have to factor in all the outcomes that occur in real games and account for the same frequency they occur in real games. You can't just cherry pick the scenarios that fit your preconceived (and disproven) narrative.
    Isn't that exactly what you just did?
    A flute with no holes is not a flute. A doughnut with no holes is a danish. -- Zen Philosopher Basho

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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling View Post
    Putting the ball in play has a chance to be counterproductive, even extremely counterproductive. Do you acknowledge that?
    Yes.

    But if the game was played to not be counterproductive, then every batter just might as well take three strikes and go ride the pine.
    A flute with no holes is not a flute. A doughnut with no holes is a danish. -- Zen Philosopher Basho

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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling View Post
    Has anyone ever stated that hitters should never make contact? Strawman much? Jeez.
    No it isn't a strawman. The whole point people are making is that it's not just about productive outs versus strikeouts. It's that when you put the ball in play, you have the chance of getting a hit, an error, a productive out, etc. When you make a strikeout, you have a chance at none of those things. It's cherry-picking to ignore all that can and does happen when a hitter puts the ball in play.

    That's not a strawman. THAT'S THE WHOLE POINT!
    Last edited by Brutus; 09-14-2013 at 08:58 PM.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    I personally find it offensive to still hear people say that "strikeouts are just another out". I couldn't give a darn what any formula tells you it it completely contradicts simple common sense.

    Man on 2nd or third. Less than 2 outs. Outside of a double play, a strikeout is your worst possible outcome IMO and it's not even close. An out via contact...yes, it MAY have the same result as the strikeout (an out without any runners advancing), but it also may have many, many, MANY other possibilities. And this example is only one of MANY that can be described the same darned way. Yes, a strike out is an out. But it's not "JUST" another out. It's an out with zero chance of anything positive occurring. My comment earlier about it being worse than a DP, my point was that while it's also a negative outcome, it does have at least a possibility of a positive outcome attached to it...but the extra out still makes it worse than a K IMO.

    I'm sorry, but I'll never be able to wrap my head around a formula (no matter how much data it's based on) that tells me that a K isn't worse than an out from a ball put into play.

    Put the ball into play and you FORCE the defense to make a play. If the opponent makes the play...tip your cap.
    Last edited by _Sir_Charles_; 09-14-2013 at 09:00 PM.
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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    One can't get a hit without making contact.

    One can't record a fly out without preventing the ball from hitting the ground.

    Alright now that we've gotten those earth shattering issues out of the way, let's actually discuss the issue of contact, K's and run scoring perhaps in something more than broad generalities that have limited utility or offer little insight.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    I think walks are valuable.

    Sometimes it works out that a K is better than an alternate outcome (DP.)

    That said, it seems that the sabre crowd has fallen in love with walks and strikeouts. One of those I understand, the other I do not. So honestly, I'm not kidding when I say I think there are some people that would like batters to never swing the bat. Either take a walk or strike out. At least that way you will never hit into a double play.

    Or maybe they only think this way if there is a runner on base.

    "That was a sweet grand slam, but man, he took quite a risk swinging at a pitch with the bases loaded. He could have hit into a quadruple play!"
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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    No it isn't a strawman. The whole point people are making is that it's not just about productive outs versus strikeouts. It's that when you put the ball in play, you have the chance of getting a hit, an error, a productive out, etc. When you make a strikeout, you have a chance at none of those things. It's cherry-picking to ignore all that can and does happen when a hitter puts the ball in play.

    That's not a strawman. THAT'S THE WHOLE POINT!
    And you are already given full credit in the charts for those hits and errors and productive outs. Fortunately the charts also factor in the negative outcomes that you want to ignore. Accounting for all outcomes proves that strikeouts are no worse than contact outs.

    You seem to subscribe to the theory that a hitter can get a do-over on his strikeouts. You can't change the outcome of the strikeouts alone without changing your approach on all the plate appearances. You don't know in advance when you are going to strike out.

    Once again, the proof is in the pudding. High strikeout hitters produce more than low strikeout hitters. It is insane to conclude that you should tell your best hitters to change their approach so they can be more like your worst hitters.

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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    Quote Originally Posted by _Sir_Charles_ View Post
    I'm sorry, but I'll never be able to wrap my head around a formula (no matter how much data it's based on) that tells me that a K isn't worse than an out from a ball put into play.
    And the music never ends, it goes on, and on, and on, and on...


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